“There was about him a suggestion of lurking ferocity, as though the wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept.” A hundred years ago, Jack London wrote these words about the canine in White Fang, without knowing he was right about all dogs. In 1993, after centuries of classifying dogs as a domesticated species, no longer linked to wolves, scientists decided that they had jumped the gun. Dogs, for all their acquiescence and affability, are still a subspecies of wolves. And so the word lupus, meaning wolf, was added to the scientiï¬c name for dogs.
There are dogs we walk. Dogs we play with. And then there are the members of canis lupus familiaras—the “human-friendly wolf.” They are all one and the same—man’s best friend and longtime foe. The latter—the primitive side—emerges when canines come together, as in these images from dog parks. Call it playing or fighting or play-ï¬ghting, it’s really instinct, and a reminder that it’s still a dog-eat-dog world.
The photos on these pages, from Michael Crouser’s “Dog Run,” a work-in-progress, were taken at Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis and Tompkins Square Park in New York City. To view additional images, go to www.michaelcrouser.com.
“All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers, is contained in the dog.” Franz Kafka